We hope you've met our poets on the page above!
Here are our special guest poets and musicians who visit from time to time...
IFOR MICHAEL - Pianist (Regularly visits)
TIMOTHY RIDOUT - Viola (Visited in Dec 2012, June 2013)
Born in 1995, Timothy has always had a passion for Music. He studies Viola at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Martin Outram, having previously studied at Junior Academy with Jonathan Barritt. Timothy regularly plays solo concerts and recitals, and last year included concertos with Putteridge Festival Orchestra, Luton Symphony Orchestra, Luton Youth Orchestra, and Luton Concert Orchestra. As well as his solo playing, he regularly plays chamber music with various ensembles, as a chamber musician he has had master classes from Paul Barritt, Richard Ireland, James Boyd and Shmuel Ashkenasi. He was a member of Bedfordshire County Youth Orchestra for two years and in 2010 was appointed Co-principal Viola in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain; he was the Principal Viola of the NYO in 2012. In 2010 he reached the National finals of the Rotary Young Musician of the Year, having won the East Midlands region and the Bedford Young Musician title. Also he won the Toddington Young Musician of the year, and subsequently did his debut recital for the Toddington Music Club. In 2011, he won the concerto prize in the Bedford Festival of Music, Speech and Drama. This year (2012), he became the winner of the senior section of the Norma Simpson string prize at the Royal Academy. He also took part in the North London Festival, winning the Viola Category, the President Cup, and he was also highly commended in the Solo Bach Prize. Earlier on in 2012, he participated in a master class with Drew Balch. Timothy hopes to pursue a solo career. He plays a fine viola by Marco Maria Gastaldi.
JOHN HEGLEY - Guest Poet (Visited in July 2012)
His first public performance monies came from busking his songs, initially outside a shoeshop in Hull, in the late Seventies. He performed on the streets of London in the early Eighties, fronting the Popticians, with whom he also recorded two sessions for John Peel, and has since been a frequent performer of his words, sung and spoken, on both local and national radio.
He has produced ten books of verse and prose pieces, two CDs and one mug, but his largest source of income is from stages on his native island. An Edinburgh Festival regular, he is noted for his exploration of such diverse topics as dog hair, potatoes, handkerchieves and the misery of human existence.
He is an occasional DJ, dancer and workshop leader, using drawing, poetry and gesture. He has been awarded an honorary Doctorate of Arts from what is now the University of Bedfordshire, and once performed in a women's prison in Columbia.To view John's books or contact him, please visit his website www.johnhegley.co.uk
MARK NIEL - Poet/ Guitarist (Visited in May 2012)
(Poet Laureate of Milton Keynes)
Mark Niel is a poet from Milton Keynes who has shot from Open Mics to headliner in a mere couple of years. Mark’s passion for Spoken Word led him to found his own organisation, Tongue in Chic which showcases the best of the national scene at Festivals and events around the country as well as in his home town. Mark is the very first Poet Laureate of Milton Keynes!
Mark’s breakthrough was winning the prestigious Camden Crawl Poetry Slam which led to a headline gig with Apples and Snakes. His accessible Performance Poetry has gone on to dazzle audiences at Literature and Poetry Festivals as well as the Shepherds Bush Empire. A prize winner for both written and performed poems, his material ranges from deeply personal reflections to barn-storming Performance Pieces. Whether despairing at his frequently misspelt name or raging about the frustrations of Fridges in shared houses he is always by turns engaging, comic, and moving. As well as performances and readings, Mark undertakes schools work and runs workshops.
So, if you thought Milton Keynes had nothing to offer except Concrete Cows and somewhere for Londoners to park and ride, then watch out because Mark is leading a poetic mission to make you change your mind. Mark has appeared with John Hegley, Zena Edwards, Elvis McGonagall, Jean “Binta” Breeze, Felix Dennis, Ava Vidal, Niall O'Sullivan, A F Harrold, Simon Munnery, Rachel Pantechnicon and many others.
Mark can undertake MC Duties, solo performances or organise complete poetry or acoustic showcases. This includes “Cabaret Acoustica” which features a heady combination of acoustic excellence in music, spoken word and comedy. His solo show, “All the mistakes I ever made have led me here” is perfect for Festivals. It lasts just under one hour and blends theatre, performance poetry and music.